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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William A. Claypool has led a most busy, active and useful life. Coming to Iowa at an early day when its population was comparatively small and the homes were widely scattered, he became identified with its carpentering and building interests and as a contractor carried on trade for a number of years. Later he became a prosperous farmer, stock-raiser and feeder and is today the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of land in the home place in Jones township and eighty acres on another section; nearly three hundred acres of his land is under the plow or is rich meadow land. Upon his farm he has resided continuously since 1857. Two years before he took up his abode in Clarke county, Iowa, being a young man of about twenty-three years at that time.

His birth occurred in what is now Morrow county, Ohio, January 30, 1832, and there he grew to manhood and learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, being identified with the industrial interests of that locality until his removal to Iowa. As stated, he took up his abode in Clarke county, where he began work at his trade and as a contractor was engaged in building bridges, schoolhouses and other structures that called into play his knowledge of the builder’s art. He made his first investment in land in 1857, when he bought thirty acres in Jones township and took up his abode upon the farm which is yet his home. It was the nucleus of his present valuable landed possessions. He continued, however, to engage in contracting and building for some time and he also broke the sod upon the little farm and built a house for his family. He believed investment in Iowa soil would prove a judicious move on his part and as his financial resources permitted he added to his holdings from time to time, until he now owns four hundred and four acres of valuable land, situated on sections 23, 24 and 25, Jones township. Here he cleared away the brush, grubbed up the stumps, turned the first furrows, planted his seed and in due course of time gathered rich crops. For forty years he continued to engage in farming in connection with his agricultural pursuits but now concentrates his attention entirely upon his agricultural interests.

Mr. Claypool was married in this county in 1857 to Miss Catherine Ricedorff, who was born and reared in Pennsylvania and who died here on the 30th of March, 1881. Eleven children were born of their union: John, who is now a prosperous farmer of Pleasant township; Samuel, who is cultivating part of the old homestead; William, a carpenter of the state of Washington; George, who is a business man of Pullman, Washington; Mary, the wife of John Kalsenbarger, of Clarke county, Iowa; Eliza, the wife of A. F. Babbitt, of Afton, Iowa; Mrs. Fannie Katsenburger, who is acting as housekeeper for her father; Helen, the wife of Charles Fisher, of Pleasant township, Katie, the wife of Frank Porter, of Arkansas City, Arkansas; Alice, the wife of Jake Fisher, of Jones township; and Jennie, who died at the age of twenty-seven years.

Politically Mr. Claypool is independent, supporting men and measures rather than party. His fellow townsmen know him to be a reliable citizen and a man of ability and have called him to serve as township clerk, township trustee and highway commissioner. He has also been officially identified with the schools, acting as school treasurer, and has frequently been a delegate to the county and state conventions of the democratic party and at one time was a delegate to the national convention. He has served on the grand and petit juries for ten consecutive years, He belongs to Thayer Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and to Thayer Lodge, I. O. O. F., being also connected with the Afton Encampment. He is a self-made man, whose success is the outcome of well directed labor and unfaltering energy. He belongs to that class of representative American citizens who while promoting individual prosperity also contribute to the public good and as the years have passed he has assisted materially in the upbuilding and development of the county.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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